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'Bajo la luz de Sorolla'

Pioneering urban artist Germán Bel "Fasim" exhibits his most recent artworks in his first solo show at La Mercería featuring a contemporary revision of landscape and lightening. 


LA MERCERÍA, VALENCIA      APR 13 - MAY 26 2023                        

  • Instagram

It is said of Joaquín Sorolla that he hated darkness. He once cited Claude Monet saying "that painting in general did not have light enough in it", and added: "I agree with him. We painters, however, can never reproduce sunlight as it really is. I can only approach the truth of it." Germán Bel, renowned Barcelonian contemporary urban artist, dedicates his first solo exhibition at Galeria La Mercería to that one protagonist shared by all of Sorolla's works: the sheer intensity of light"I often contemplate the Valencian sky from my studio, which is one of the most luminous lights in Spain, and I remember that it is the same light under which Sorolla worked", Germán says. 

The exhibition is the second and last part devoted to a series of 'erased landscapes' Germán Bel began during the time of the pandemic, that culminates now in 2023. In the bygone years the artist experienced a phase of high creativity experimenting with various techniques such as printing paint on canvas with materials like plastic or clothing, grattage, frottage or decalcomania.


Germán Bel explores the genre of landscape as a metaphor for the world. While Joaquín Sorolla painted from life, often brief and quick sketches of the exterior, Germán paints landscapes that emerge from the interior of the visionary experience. They are suggested landscapes, 'insinuations'. Like the illusory needle of Vermeer's lace maker, they belong to the mundus imaginalis, the world of the soul, fruit of the visionary experience and not of perception. Imagination is understood by Germán as the magical production of an image. Imagination and reality do not exist separately. Creative action is magical, the image is defined as a body in which the will or thought of the soul is embodied.

In the following a selection of the works of Germán Bel "Fasim" is presented that will be exhibited at La Mercería until the 26 of May 2023. The accompanying quotes are taken from the exhibition's introduction and Germán's Instagram.

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'Landscape III'

mixed media on canvas, 2023 

30 x 30 cm


Imagination should not be confused with fantasy as Paracelsus observed: "Fantasy is the cornerstone of the insane", because fantasy is what has to do with phantasms, with what is not real. Imagination is a means of knowledge.

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'Intense Light'

mixed media on canvas, 2023 

57 x 57 cm


The awakening of the inner eye, the idea that the artist must become a visionary. Artistic creation is closely linked to the visionary experience, according to Victoria Cirlot: "Visionary is the one who does not see through the physical eyes, but through what we call the inner eye. And what is seen are not physical materialities, it is not an object of perception, but inner realities, mental, dreamlike images, which have a texture similar to that of dreams and which will later be transferred to supports to constitute what we call plastic images.

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'Landscapes of the orchard II'

mixed media on canvas, 2023 

67 x 67 cm


If artistic creation is a great mystery, the creative impulse of the human being reflects, like a mirror, a greater mystery that is existence. "Art is to be absolutely oneself". Baudelaire said.



mixed media on canvas, 2023 

65 x 65 cm


There is no reason for hope, only for resistance. Our duty is to withstand the fetid winds of the idiocy and rottenness of the world. However, that should not prevent enthusiasm, nor euphoria, nor joy, nor anything that we humans are capable of even in the most detestable circumstances. From his pessimism Baudelaire extracted, like a sacred matron putting her hands in the entrails of the Good, the greatest poetry of his century and the sharpest reflections on artistic creation in times of misery.

"The poet's voice need not be simply the record of the man, it can be one of the props, the pillars that help him to endure and prevail." Faulkner

That remains the task of writers and artists in times of misery, 'to endure and prevail.'

Félix de Azúa, Baudelaire and the artist of modern life

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'Emerging landscape I'

mixed media on canvas, 2023 

120 x 120 cm

For inquiries about the artworks by Germán Bel "Fasim" exhibited at La Mercería go to the linked website.

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